This post about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ jarring eight-game losing streak gives a very brief update on the Eastern Conference, but for those who want more than just a dower view of how bad things are for the Buds, here’s a more diverse look at Saturday’s impact:
- The Atlantic Division is clearly the superior of the two over the long haul. While the Boston Bruins are obviously the top dog (they clinched the No. 1 spot), the other top teams in the Atlantic remain more-than-competent. The Tampa Bay Lightning rode Steven Stamkos’ two goals (waits for “he actually scored three” jokes) to an overtime win while the Montreal Canadiens won their fifth in a row to stay two points ahead of the Bolts for second place … and home-ice advantage in what almost certainly will be a competitive first-round series.
(That home-ice advantage is definitely still up for grabs, though, as the Lightning hold two games in hand.)
- It’s impossible to go any further without mentioning that things are now really, really bad for the Maple Leafs.
- The New Jersey Devils stayed in the hunt with a “charity point,” but they also lost their 10th shootout of the season. They’ve been in 10 shootouts.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings are in the first and second wild card spots respectively thanks to big wins.
- Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals lost a frustrating game.
More of a visual learner? Here’s the updated picture: